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Wild! Ohio family visits 52 zoos in 52 weeks

It's been a wild year for members of an Ohio family, who say they've accomplished a goal of visiting 52 zoos in 52 weeks.Columbus resident Marla Taviano, her husband and three daughters began last August with the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky and spent weekends and vacations going to zoos across the country. Their visits included the Dallas Zoo, New York's Central Park Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. The
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

It's been a wild year for members of an Ohio family, who say they've accomplished a goal of visiting 52 zoos in 52 weeks.

Columbus resident Marla Taviano, her husband and three daughters began last August with the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky and spent weekends and vacations going to zoos across the country. Their visits included the Dallas Zoo, New York's Central Park Zoo and the San Diego Zoo.

The family traveled from zoo to zoo via minivan. Their Web site shows they wound up hitting 52 animal parks to see giraffes, reindeer and snow leopards.

Taviano says she got the idea while trying to think of an adventure that would feel like traveling the world and seeing exotic creatures but on a budget.

"I wanted to go on an adventure," she told Central Ohio's 10TV News. "I want to travel the world, but it's kind of hard to do if you don't have a lot of money."

In order to keep costs low, Taviano says that she and her family only stayed in seven hotels for the trip. For the rest of the trek, they crashed with other people at each location — a total of 31 families for 44 nights.

The family's 22,000-mile tour ended Saturday with a visit to their hometown Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Taviano plans a book about their journey.